In 2017, a total number of 7,578 MARRIAGES ended up in DIVORCE and ANNULMENT, according to the Department of Statistics in Singapore. Divorce can be just as devastating for men as it is for women, but where can their voices be heard in a family breakdown?
Mr Tan* sensed that something wasn’t working out. He and his wife were drifting apart. Tensions began to grow at home and things became to turn ugly with frequent bickering and quarrels. Soon, it came to a point of no return and his 10 years of marriage finally ended in divorce.
*name has been changed to protect identity.
Mr Tan recalled a difficult journey, coming to terms with the unexpected twist of fate. Many times, he felt lost, confused and alone, having to deal with the circumstances that befell him. His biggest worry was for his 9-year-old son, whom he barely got to meet during the course of negotiating for a divorce. Over time, there was little that he knew about his beloved son and that led to pent-up frustration and angst.
Mr Tan attended the monthly sharing sessions held on Thursday evenings, where he would meet other men with similar experiences. He learnt from their common experiences and challenges, particularly from those who have gone through the different stages of the divorce process. He discovered coping skills to manage his emotions and grew to be more clear-minded and discerning by building on his self-awareness. These skills were helpful in helping to deal with the struggles that he experienced emotionally and mentally.
More importantly, he learnt parenting strategies to improve his relationship with his son, who had to bear the brunt of the parental conflict and the bitterness of having to choose between his parents.
Mr Edward Hoon, Counsellor at THK Centre for Family Harmony @ Commonwealth said that Daddy’s for Life offers a platform for fathers to learn from each other. “It offers them a different perspective, an opportunity to speak and be heard.” On two occasions, Mr Tan constructively shared his divorce journey and the challenges that he faced such as interacting with his ex-spouse and having irregular or no access with his son.
Daddy’s for Life programme serves men from diverse backgrounds, from those in their 30s to those in their 50s. They may be self-employed, blue or white-collared workers and typically have one to three children.
“Don’t be embarrassed to share and receive. Be truthful, it might help others and yourself. Through sharing, you see yourself thinking clearer each time.” – Mr Tan.
Besides the Daddy’s for Life programme, THK Centre for Family Harmony @ Commonwealth also conducts a series of support programmes for both parents and children. They include,
Supervised Exchange and Visitation; Mandatory Parenting Programme; Parenting PACT; Casework and Counselling; Mommy’s for Life; Children-In-Between Programme; as well as Family Programme which involves art jamming.
For more information, please contact:
Blk 54 Commonwealth Drive
#01-566 Singapore 142054
Operating Hours: Tuesday & Thursday: 9am to 9pm
Wednesday, Friday & Saturday: 9am to 6pm